After a concussion occurs, it is important to measure how well your brain functions post-injury. Knowing this information can assist in planning an effective rehabilitation program. At the Sports Concussion Institute, we believe that a comprehensive approach to concussion management starts before the injury actually occurs. As a result, a valid Baseline Concussion Test is the first step to effective concussion management.
What is a Baseline Concussion Test?
Having a Baseline Concussion Test is like having insurance. As a preventative measure, these baseline tests are typically taken prior to a sport season when an athlete has not yet had exposure to training and/or competition. In the event of a concussion is received during the season, the same test (a “post-injury”) is taken again by the athlete, yielding comparative scores from before and after the injury. These baseline tests and post-injury tests are computerized assessments that measure Reaction Time, Memory Capacity, Speed of Mental Processing, and Executive Functioning of the brain. They also record baseline concussion symptoms and provide extensive information about the athlete’s history with concussions.
Why is it Important to get Baselined?
A Baseline Concussion Test is an important piece to concussion management. Each concussion is unique, so it is important to treat individuals on a case-by-case basis. Comparing post-injury test scores of an individual to their own baseline test scores from before the concussion is considered best practice. Without a baseline test to use for comparison, an individual’s post-injury test scores can only be compared to the general population. Whenever possible, we want to compare apples to apples, and Baseline Concussion Tests allow us to do just that. Also, because baseline testing usually occurs early in the season, the very act of getting tested will raise concussion awareness for athletes, parents, and coaches.
What is needed for a Baseline Concussion Test?
The baseline tests that SCI uses are computer-based and can be taken anywhere with an internet connection under the supervision of a trained examiner. Typically, baseline tests take 30-45 minutes to administer, and can be done for both individual athletes and groups. SCI administers the most reliable concussion tests available and its staff are experts at analyzing and interpreting test scores.
The staff at SCI would be happy to talk with you about setting up a Concussion Baseline Testing program for you and your organization. For further information, please contact us.